Re: The Emporium on Market Street

04/27/07 - posted by Boris

The Emporium lot has some interesting history behind it. Initially it was a remote area surrounded by sand hills and far from the city. Father Maraschi, SJ. purchased the land from Mr. Larkin in 1855 and opened the first St. Ignatius Academy. The first year they had one student and no road to the school. There is a great story of a Brother Weyringer who decided to build a planked road to Mission St. only to have it buried in one night in a sandstorm. "They were rarely disturbed except for spiritual ministration by the locals in need of a priest". "Among those who needed spiritual ministrations were Charles Cora and James Casey, both victims of the SF Committee of Vigilance. Both Maraschi and Accolti (founder Santa Clara College) gave last rites to these two men before their death by hanging on May 22, 1856. Maraschi also witnessed the marriage of Cora to his mistress, Belle, on the morning of his execution" (excerpts from "Spiritus Magis--150 years of St. Ignatius College Prep" by Paul Totah)

When S.I moved to a new site my wife's grandfather had a chance to buy the lot, but decided against it. The Emporium was then built on the same site. Today it is, of course, Bloomindales. My brother Alex is the head concierge there. The rotunda is still intact.

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